I first saw John Cassadays work when we started
getting Planetary from our local comic shop. I adore
Planetary. I was pretty excited that John Cassaday was
going to be a Dallas Toy and Comic Fest 4. Hes also
currently working on Captain America for Marvel
Knights. John is very nice and very funny. I think
that it clearly shows in this interview. It was a lot
of fun to do, and I hope you enjoy it too.|
How did you get interested in art?
I think Ive always been a visual
person. I dont know if this had anything to do with
it but I grew up in the country in the middle of
nowhere, and I had to come up with my own
entertainment. There was nothing else to do where I
was. Drawing was a way for me to do that. I think
actually I was drawing before I knew about art. I
wound up liking art because it was something I was
trying to do myself.
Do you have any formal art training?
No, it was a hobby for a long time, and
Id always wanted to do it professionally somehow. I
didnt know if Id be doing comics or not. I knew I
enjoyed drawing and there were a few other things I
wanted to do. I actually went to school for film. I
never had any real training. In fact, the school that
I went to was too small to have art classes. So,
there wasnt even art at my public school.
When did you first become interested in comicbooks?
Well that was pretty early on. I used
to watch Adam West on TV as Batman. I was a Batman freak
when I was real little. When I was little, Id go to
the grocery store with my mom and thered be a Batman
comic and I had to have it. As I got older I was into
Star Wars and GI Joe and the comics that went along
with those, as well. It was a way to get these stories
and it was back before video games really took over,
and everyone owned their favorite Star Wars movie at
home and could watch it a thousand times. You know
back in the old days. * fake sniff * Im gonna cry
now. So through that I liked the art form and I felt
I could do it. I was drawing all the time anyway and
I loved these incredibly visual characters.
Whats your favorite art style or medium and
Clearly I like pencil and ink work
that I do, but I also tinker with painting. If I had
some more time, maybe Id do more of that. I also
like a lot of the digital stuff that Ive been seeing.
I think Adam Hughes is here and the covers hes doing
and the digital stuff is just amazing. I think hes a
good example of where things are going. He does the
pencil and ink work and then scans it into the
computer and enhances it. It really adds a whole new
life to it, the things that hes doing. I do love
paintings. My favorite artist is MC Wyeth, and hes a
painter. I also like so many different styles of art
comicbook and non-comicbook. So, I get my inspiration
from a lot of different sources.
How did you break into comicbooks?
I went to the San Diego Comic
Convention in 1996 and took a portfolio. It was the
first time Id been to it. Id been to a lot of
smaller conventions in Texas and other places, but
there were never any editors to talk to. There would
just be some local artists. So finally I got to go to
this big convention, and I met with actual editors.
Thats how it worked. A month later I started
getting phone calls.
How did you get started drawing Planetary?
Well, Warren [Ellis] and I had
attempted to do something for Caliber comics right
after that San Diego Comic Convention I just
mentioned. I had talked with some Caliber guys, and
they gave Warren my art. He wanted to work with me on
this mini-series. So, we had this six issue
mini-series called Six Steel Hearts that I did the
first issue for about thirty pages. Then I started
getting paying work from the bigger companies, and it
was a small book. Warren wasnt big or anything at
the time, so we thought that we probably wouldnt make
a whole lot of money on it anyhow. Warren saw that I
had this chance to do other stuff, so that just never
happened, but we liked working together. Id been
talking to Wildstorm, and they wanted me to do
something else for them, kicking around ideas of
things to do. They sent me this proposal for
Planetary and I went crazy for it.
I havent seen Planetary in a while. Is it
Yeah. * laugh * No, its not dead.
There should be a new issue out in November or
Whats the most difficult part of drawing for
Probably doing interviews at the same
time. I guess doing it everyday, doing it everyday is
tough. Its hard to keep yourself motivated, you
know, and as much as you try and as much as I like
comics and what Im doing and the stories Im working
on... I cannot complain about the subject matter Im
working on. Im the happiest guy in the world about
it, but its very hard to make yourself sit down and
do it every day or five days a week like a normal job.
In the kind of work I do I work at home. Its the
freelancers life. So its not like Im going to an
office and working 9 to 5, where I would clock in and
clock out. Im literally in my home doing the work
there. My television is there. All my books are there.
I can do a thousand different things. I can wander
off and go to Central Park. So, its very hard to
make yourself sit down and do it everyday.
What comicbook title has been your favorite?
Is it still Batman as it was when you were a kid?
No, Batman was only when I was really
young. I kinda grew out of Batman, when Star Wars
happened. I still love Batman. I like Batman a lot.
Captain America is my favorite character, and I would
say Daredevil is maybe my second favorite. Batman is
right around there, too.
How did you get started working on Captain
Joe Quesada had been after me at
several conventions and e-mailing me back and forth
ever since he started Marvel Knights to do something
for them. I just never had the time. I was doing
Planetary and he was waiting for me to find a break in
it to do something, and then he became
editor-in-chief. He e-mailed me several times about
it. He knew I liked Captain America. I think he read
it in an interview, you know something like this.
So, he knew that that would be a way to get me. It
also happened to be at a point where scripts were
coming in very slowly for Planetary. I was doing a
lot of cover work and this and that, but nothing that
I was investing myself into, that I cared a whole lot
about. So he talked to me about Captain America. He
told me that they were going to re-launch it with and
new number one and make it Marvel Knights. He said we
would have a chance to do something very different
with it. We would have a chance to say a little more
with the character than was the norm. That was really
appealing to me, and also that I would have a great
deal of control over it. They were very accommodating
to me, so I said yes.
If you could work with anyone in the comicbook
industry who would it be and why?
Frank Miller. There are two trade
paper backs, story-lines that are my favorites. Thats
Dark Knight: Year One, and Born Again, the Daredevil
Story. Its all Frank Miller. To get to be someone
like David Mazzucelli, and work on these incredible
stories, ground breaking stuff. Millers just my
favorite, my absolute favorite. I would jump at the
chance. There are a lot of talented people out there,
but hes the one I would jump at.
And one more question what are you working on
next and what do you want to work on next?
Well my current status is that Ive got
three more issues of Capt. coming out. Issue three
comes out this week, and Ive got three more after
that. After six issues of Cap Im gonna take a
break, and go do some Planetary. That should be
about three issues. Once Im done with those Ill go
back and Ill do some more Captain America. Then back
to Planetary. Its just back and forth for a while.
Planetary will end with issue 25, but its up in the
air on how long it will take to get to it, but Ill
stick with it until the end. Hopefully in a year or
two years, I would say Planetary should be wrapped up.
Ill be with Cap indefinitely. It would be nice to
come in and out of it. Were gonna have some fill in
guys working on it, and theyve got some really
talented people lined up for it. Ill squeeze in when